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03-08-07, 04:15 PM #1
Copters' cameras link responders to scene
Eyes in the skies share real-time info
By Tony Manolatos
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 8, 2007
NANCEE E. LEWIS / Union-Tribune
Of all the lessons learned from the Cedar and Paradise fires, the communications breakdown has been at or near the top of the list.
That's why yesterday was such a big deal for local politicians and emergency officials.
They beamed like proud parents as new video and communications equipment was unveiled. The technology, which isn't in use anywhere else in California, is expected to help save lives and property threatened by fast-moving flames or terrorist attacks.
The centerpiece: high-tech video cameras inside police and firefighter helicopters. Each is equipped with infrared night vision.
The cameras send live feeds to command posts on the ground. Video also can be routed to laptops and cell phones, equipment used by some first responders.
People in separate command posts, who work for different agencies, can see and communicate with one another through new video-conferencing equipment.
The upgrades mean more rescue personnel and decision-makers have more information to work with.
“This is an extraordinary step forward for our region,” Mayor Jerry Sanders told a crowd of emergency staffers gathered at the county Emergency Operations Center in Kearny Mesa.
Sanders was joined by Police Chief William Lansdowne, Fire-Rescue Chief Tracy Jarman, Sheriff Bill Kolender and others.
Following announcements, everyone's attention turned to a wall of TVs. The monitors buzzed with live feeds from a simulated terrorist attack at a water treatment facility in La Mesa.
One screen showed firefighters working to put out a blaze; another zoomed in on rescue workers trying to bring an injured man down from a roof.
Assistant Police Chief William Maheu made a small hole with his fingers, and then he made a huge one with both arms.
“Our information pipe just went from here – to here,” Maheu said. “If you don't have the correct information or it's incomplete, your decisions can be flawed.”
During the 2003 wildfire season, one helicopter was equipped with a video camera. The feed went to one location. Viewers couldn't relay a thing to anyone who wasn't within earshot.
Everyone was using walkie-talkies because cell lines were down. The radio system shut down because of the heavy traffic. Chaos ensued, and the fire raged.
“Imagine if we would have been able to send real-time video to every agency during the Cedar fire?” Chief Jarman said. “Don't you think we would have approached that differently, and been more successful?”
The new equipment was installed on five helicopters, operated by San Diego police and fire. By 2008, the project is expected to be rolled out to other agencies throughout the county.
The first leg of the project cost $6 million, which came from a federal grant, officials said. The next phase is expected to cost $4 million.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
03-08-07, 04:26 PM #2
that is pretty cool!http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
03-08-07, 04:30 PM #3
They have the ability to do the same with ours in this area.
One drawback is they can see what your really doing!the sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
( Baltasar Gracian )
03-11-07, 01:44 PM #4
Anyone with the required level of access can see what is going on where I work, CCTV systems and down link from the helicopters.
Thw control room has a 6 foot by 6 foot screen, it's like watching a movie if something kicks off while your in there.
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